Implementing partners of the Government of Ghana (GOG) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Programme (CP) have been urged to develop innovative interventions which prioritise the needs of the vulnerable.
“The UNFPA and its partners have seen progress in their mandate areas, however, too many are still left behind,” said Dr. Doris Mawuse Aglobitse, Programme Specialist SRHR and Gender Team Lead of UNFPA, at the three-day review and work plan meeting of the agency’s implementing partners at Takoradi in the Western Region.
GoG/ UNFPA Country Programme
The meeting is to review the work done in 2022, as well as the past five years, and bring to closure the seventh country programme.
The GoG/UNFPA seventh Country Programme, (2018-2022) ends on December 31, and the eighth country programme (CP8) 2023-2027 starts from January 1, 2023.
The implementing partners, including, public institutions, Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) will also plan for 2023, which is the first year of the eighth country programme (CP8).
Slow economic growth
Dr. Aglobitse noted that Ghana experienced slow growth with the economy only increasing marginally at a rate of 0.4 per cent in 2020 compared to 6.5 per cent in 2019 with multidimensional poverty prevalent among young people.
She was concerned that the country’s population of 30.8 million was also predominantly young, with 73.4 per cent aged 0-35 years and 50.7 per cent being female, and pointed out that although Ghana was a lower-middle income country, poverty was still a major concern with the incidence of poverty being 7.8 per cent and 39.5 per cent in urban and rural areas, respectively.
She reiterated that UNFPA and its partners have made some progress which has resulted in a reduction of the number of women dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth over the years.
“Families are healthier. Young people are more connected and empowered than ever before,” she stated.
She admonished the implementing partners to ensure that their planned activities were geared towards achieving tangible progress towards “our aspirations of zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices.”
“We cannot do business as usual as we need to innovate to improve productivity, reduce costs of doing business, increase competitiveness among same players, improve our brand recognition and value and forge new partnerships and relationships particularly with the private sector and the traditional leaders.
She further stressed the need to tap the power of young people, build their asset to enable them exercise their rights and make choices that will determine the health and well-being of the present and future generations, as well as to continue empowering all women and girls to exercise their rights and fully engage in society, at all times, everywhere.
New country programme
In his statement, Mr. Collins Kabuga, Principal Economic Officer, Ministry of Finance, thanked the partners for their dedication in implementing programmes to improve the lives of women and children.
The new Country Programme, he said, presents an opportunity to take the most efficient and effective path to respond to the needs of the ordinary Ghanaian.
“The document is rooted in our national development priorities and designed to focus on those measures that can best be delivered through collective action, thus, complementing the national efforts and strategies that are already in place,” Mr Kabuga stated.
Evaluation of Country Programme
Mr Eric Okrah, Evaluation Manager, said the UNFPA is a strategic partner to the Government of Ghana (GoG) as well as other UN and bilateral agencies.
He indicated that an evaluation of the GoG/UNFPA’s seventh Country Programme (CP7) showed that the programme was well aligned to national and international development priorities and effectively responded to the changing environment and needs including humanitarian settings and the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that the evaluation was to demonstrate accountability and transparency to stakeholders on achieving development results at the Country Office and on invested resources.
Mr. Mutaru Goro Iddrisu National Programme Analyst, Population and Development (P&D) also said that the priority areas for the 2023 workplan included innovative approaches to promote adolescent reproductive health, maternal health and gender equality.